The DC Urban Gardeners (DUG) Network’s mission is to inform and connect DC residents to resources, events, opportunities, forums, services and programs that support food access, healthy eating, urban agriculture and environmental sustainability in the greater DC area.
At the DUG Network, we believe that connecting residents to local resources in DC is vital to creating a positive, lasting community within the growing urban agriculture, food access and environmental
Founded in 2015, DUG was created to provide an expansive and consolidated platform through which area residents and organizations can more easily connect to the programs, events, and resources currently available to the DC community.
DUG is a cooperative organization created to be sustainable over time. DUG was organized as a non-profit co-op to be a flexible, volunteer-led organization grounded in the community we serve. DUG is made up of volunteers who donate their time and resources to create, maintain, develop and share information with the DC community.
Who Are We?
Our volunteers are motivated and passionate urban gardening, food security and environmental enthusiasts, professionals and advocates from around the DC-Maryland-Virginia area. The Board of Directors is comprised of members who design and manage the DUG Network’s website and activities. The Board of Directors is currently comprised of the following volunteers:
Tara Geiger, Executive Director: Tara Geiger is a life-long plant enthusiast. She brings to DUG over 10 years of experience working with NGOs in DC, specializing in international development with a focus in public health. Tara’s interest in urban agriculture was inspired by her time volunteering on several farms in Asia and Africa, all of which worked to reintroduce or incorporate permaculture principles into local farming practices. Returning home to DC in 2015, Tara earned a certification in permaculture design and is a vocal advocate for local farmers and efforts to adapt and apply sustainable farming practices to urban environments.
Barbara Bearden, Communications & Marketing Director: Barbra Bearden is a modest gardener with big dreams. She loves great food, fresh air, and watching plants grow. She is also a communication specialist with experience leading strategic communication planning and coaching sessions with community-based organizations all over the world. Barb is deeply committed to promoting better access to affordable, healthy food in her community. She thinks community-based farming will feed the world. When not in the garden or on a plane you’ll find Barb on her bike or yoga mat, running around Rock Creek Park, or sampling all that DC has to offer.
Drew Drozynski, Technical Director: Drew Drozynski is a sustainable agriculture advocate, writer, computer nerd, and problem solver. He spends his days helping to promote regenerative climate smart agriculture techniques in developing countries through the NGO for which he works, and his nights building and maintaining the website and technical infrastructure for the DUG Network. Somewhere in between, he also manages to be a loving husband, a guitar player, a gardener, a mushroom hunter, a world explorer, a voracious reader, and an avid cook. He refuses to believe that a jack-of-all-trades must be a master of none.
Maryna Higgins, Financial Director: Maryna Higgins brings her passion and love for gardening from her home country of Belarus where she grew up eating home-grown fresh produce all season long. Her constantly failed attempts to grow anything on a DC condo balcony and her desire to change the urban gardening scene prompted her to open a hydroponic vertical urban farm growing microgreens and supplying them to the restaurants, stores and farmers markets in DC area. Through the DUG network Maryna hopes to continue to inspire urban dwellers to grow their own food and support local farmers, and promote the education about the importance of nutritious fresh ingredients. Maryna is a licensed CPA and brings years of financial management experience in both non-profit and venture capital worlds.
Ryan Lavery, Content Director: Ryan Lavery first felt at home in DC when he became a hybrid backyard garden enthusiast, community garden volunteer, and guerrilla gardening experimentalist. He is a Co-Director at the DUG Network; co-manages Wangari Gardens Food Forest; has led nutritional cooking classes in the YMCA’s teaching kitchen; and completed the University of DC’s Master Gardener program. Through his work with DUG, he hopes to foster an even more collaborative, connected and accessible DC food community that accelerates the city’s efforts to become a leader in the face of a rapidly changing world while helping others feel at home and empowered in the District.
Josh Singer, Outreach & Partnerships Director: Josh Singer, as the DC Parks and Recreation (DPR) Community Garden Specialist, builds community gardens and urban production farms and develops urban agriculture support systems, such as an educational series with over 100 urban agriculture classes a year, a garden tool share, a greenhouse cooperative, and a citywide community compost cooperative network serving over 1,000 active composters. Josh also is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the 501c3 nonprofit 3-acre garden park, Wangari Gardens, and a Co-Founder and Co-Director of the DC Food Recovery Working Group.
Membership Director: (Vacant)
Art Director: (Vacant)
Are you interested in volunteering as a Director with DUG? Please complete this short volunteer form and we’ll reach out to you with additional details.